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Hudbay Minerals lawsuits (re Guatemala)

Para la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales contra HudBay Minerals por actividades en Guatemala, haga clic acá.

C русской версией описания этого дела можно ознакомиться здесь.

Hudbay_nickel_mine_Guatemala_credit_mining_injustice_solidarity_networkOn 28 March 2011 a group of 11 Guatemalan women filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Ontario, Canada, against Hudbay Minerals and its subsidiary HMI Nickel Inc.  The women alleged that the companies were complicit in the gang rapes suffered by the women at the hands of security personnel hired by the defendant companies.  The women claim that the gang rapes occurred in January 2007 during forced evictions of members of the Mayan Q’eqchi’ community living in El Estor.  The companies’ nickel mining project – the Fenix project – is located in El Estor.  Members of this community have challenged the legitimacy of the mining concession granted for the Fenix project.  Hudbay Minerals says it will vigorously defend itself against the allegations of rape.

The plaintiffs are part of El Estor’s Mayan Q’eqchi’ community.  Most of this community has never accepted the legitimacy of the mining concession and land rights granted by the Guatemalan Government for the Fenix project.  The plaintiffs argue that the concession is on their ancestral land and was granted to Hudbay without adequately consulting the Q’eqchi’ community.  They have protested the development of the project and opposed the removal and resettlement of their homes and community.

In addition to the March 2011 lawsuit filed against Hudbay Minerals, a lawsuit was filed in September 2010 by the widow of a Q’eqchi community leader, Ich Chamán, who was severely beaten and shot in 2009 during a protest against the Fenix mine.  His widow, Angelina Choc, claims that security guards from the Fenix project violently beat and shot Chamán, who was unarmed, and killed him.  (Ms. Choc is also a plaintiff in the March 2011 lawsuit described above.)  The plaintiff alleged that Hudbay Minerals failed to take adequate precautions to ensure human rights abuses would be not be perpetrated by its security personnel. 

On 10 December 2011, another lawsuit was filed against Hudbay Minerals in Canada by a survivor of a shooting incident at the Fenix project.  The plaintiff, who became paraplegic as a result, alleges that in September of 2009 he was shot at close range in an unprovoked attack by the chief of security for Hudbay’s Fenix project.     

All three lawsuits are ongoing.  In February 2013 Hudbay withrew its opposition to having the case heard in Canadian court.  On 22 July 2013 the Superior Court of Ontario ruled that the lawsuits can proceed to trial in Canadian court.  In late June 2015, the Ontario Court of Justice ordered Hudbay Minerals to disclose internal corporate documentation including information regarding its corporate structure and its control over its subsidiary in Guatemala. In November 2017, 11 guatemalan women travelled to Canada to give testimony as part of the ongoing discovery procedure. On 17 September 2019, the 11 Q’eqchi’ women amended the Statement of Claim to provide further details on the involvement of Skye Resources (now part of Hudbay Minerals) in the violent eviction of their community in January 2007.

- "Important Canadian court ruling in the Hudbay Minerals (Guatemala) lawsuit", Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, 30 Jun 2015
- "Lawyer touts 'breakthrough' in Hudbay lawsuit", Jeff Gray, Globe & Mail, 25, Feb 2013
- "Shooting Victim Announces Third Human Rights Lawsuit Against Hudbay Minerals", Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, Rights Action, 7 Dec 2011
- “Hudbay defends against allegations in gang rape lawsuit”, Canadian Press, 29 Mar 2011
- “Hudbay faces fresh $55m lawsuit from Guatemalan group”, Mining Weekly, 29 Mar 2011
- “Guatemalan widow's lawsuit against Hudbay could be precedent setting”, Matthew Hill, Mining Weekly, 18 Feb 2011
- “Widow files $12M suit against mining company”, CBC News, 2 Dec 2010

- Hudbay: [PDF] Hudbay Responds to Allegations in Statement of Claim, 29 Mar 2011
- Hudbay: The facts: Hudbay's former operations in Guatemala 
- Klippensteins, Barriesters & Solicitors [plaintiffs’ counsel]:
- [PDF] Ontario court rules that lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals regarding shootings, murder and gang-rape at its former mine in Guatemala can proceed to trial in Canada, 22 Jul 2013
 - Mayan women victims of gang rapes announce lawsuit against Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals, 28 Mar 2011
Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc. & Caal v. HudBay Minerals Inc. [includes links to legal documents filed by plaintiffs]

- [PDF] Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc. - Endorsement, 22 Jul 2013 [Supreme Court of Justice - Ontario]
- [PDF] Caal v Hudbay Minerals Inc. and HMI Nickel Inc. - Statement of Claim, 28 Mar 2011 [filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice]
- [PDF] Choc v Hudbay Minerals Inc., HMI Nickel Inc. and Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel S.A., 24 Sep 2010 [filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice]

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Autor(a): Matthew Hill, Mining Weekly

Lawyers representing alleged human rights abuses victims of Canadian Mining firm HudBay Minerals in Guatemala will continue their efforts to sue the company for a combined $67-million, despite the TSX-listed firm’s announcement late last week that it would sell the Fenix nickel project, where the alleged abuses occurred. “We believe this sale was prompted in part by the severe human rights issues at HudBay’s Fenix project that dogged the company at every turn,” said Murray Klippenstein, a lawyer representing one of the victims. “HudBay and HMI Nickel cannot avoid liability for their past actions by selling the project,” he added. Toronto-based HudBay said it was selling the project because it didn’t fit its strategy of focusing on volcanogenic massive sulphide and porphyry deposits. "Our position remains the same," HudBay spokesperson John Vincic said...Hudbay announced...it would sell the asset, for which it paid $460-million in 2008, to the privately held Solway Group, based in Cyprus, for $170-million.

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Autor(a): Karyn Keenan, program officer at Halifax Initiative Coalition, in Pambazuka

Canadian mining companies seem to enjoy impunity virtually everywhere that they operate overseas...Canada has abdicated its governance responsibility regarding the overseas activities of the mining sector, refusing to regulate either the companies or the government agencies that support them, or to take legislative action to ensure that non-nationals...are able to seek redress in Canada...The issue of access to remedy for the victims of corporate abuse requires urgent attention. An obvious priority is to strengthen judicial institutions in the countries where abuse takes place. However, it’s also critical that the judiciary in multinationals’ ‘home’ countries, such as Canada, hear cases involving...their companies in foreign countries, especially when the victims lack other viable options. [Refers to Cambior lawsuit re Guyana, Anvil Mining lawsuit re Dem. Rep. of Congo, Copper Mesa lawsuit re Ecuador, HudBay Minerals lawsuits re Guatemala. Also refers to Barrick Gold, TSX (part of TMX Group).]

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Autor(a): Canadian Press

HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM) said Tuesday that it will investigate allegations that security personnel, along with members of the police and military, attacked and gang-raped several women in 2007 during efforts to clear people from lands near a mining project in Guatemala. However, the company said the accusations in a $55-million lawsuit against the company and a subsidiary contradict available information and that it would defend itself "vigorously against them."

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Autor(a): Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors [Canada]

The filing of this suit against HudBay Minerals follows upon the suit, filed in December 2010, against HudBay for the killing of Adolfo Ich. Rosa Elbira Coc Ich, and ten other indigenous Mayan Q'eqchi' women, announced today a lawsuit...against...HMI Nickel, and its corporate owner, HudBay Minerals, relating to rapes suffered by them...On January 17, 2007, the eleven women were gang-raped by mining company security personnel, police and military during the forceful expulsion of Mayan Q'eqchi' families from their farms and homes...These armed evictions were sought by HMI Nickel in relation to its Fenix mining project...[operated] in part through its Guatemalan subsidiary Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN) [part of HudBay]...The lawsuit [is] filed in HudBay and HMI Nickel's home jurisdiction of Ontario, Canada…Ian Austin, the then-CEO of HMI Nickel, released a public letter in Canada that stated: "[t]he company did everything in its power to ensure that the evictions were carried out in the best possible manner while respecting human rights."

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Autor(a): Matthew Hill, Mining Weekly

The trial of a Guatemalan woman who is suing Canadian miner HudBay Minerals for C$12-million in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for the death of her husband in 2009 is “probably years away”, Angelica Choc’s lawyer said…Choc…claimed in court papers…that security forces under a HudBay Guatemalan subsidiary’s employ “hacked and shot to death” her husband Adolfo Ich Chamán, who she said was an outspoken critic of the company…Ich Chamán died in the wake of a spate of community protests around the mine, called the Fenix project, in 2009. Choc alleged that CGN’s then head of security CGN Mynor Ronaldo Padilla Gonzáles shot an unarmed Ich Chamán in the head at close range…HudBay…disputes this, saying it is confident CGN and its employees were not involved in Ich Chamán’s death…[refers also to Skye resources]

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Artículo
2 December 2010

2010-Dic. Caso legal por Asesinato de Adolfo Ich Chamán: Choc v. Hudbay Minerals.

Autor(a): www.mimundo.org

Angélica Choc, viuda de Adolfo Ich Chamán, ha presentado una demanda en La Corte Superior en Toronto, Canadá, contra HudBay Minerals y HMI Nickel, compañías matrices del proyecto minero de níquel Fénix de la Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN). Ich Chamán fue brutalmente asesinado por fuerzas de seguridad privada contratadas por CGN el 27 de septiembre de 2009. [Incluye vínculos al comunicado completo, la denuncia completa, Fotorreportaje de MiMundo.org sobre el asesinato de Adolfo Ich Chamán]

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Autor(a): CBC News

A Guatemalan woman has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Canadian mining giant HudBay Minerals, claiming it is responsible for the death of her husband. Angelica Choc filed the suit in a Toronto courtroom...Her lawyer, Murray Klippenstein, said she is taking the action because HudBay Minerals and the Guatemalan government have done little to arrest an alleged company employee accused of killing her husband [Adolfo Ich]...Ich and other Mayan leaders protested against the mining company for its forced evictions of families and for unresolved land claims...On Sept. 30, 2009, Ich was hacked and shot to death — allegedly by a private security guard employed by Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel, a subsidiary of Manitoba's HudBay Minerals — in front of witnesses following a protest in El Estor. No one has been arrested for the killing...An official with the mining company called the lawsuit "misconceived" and "without merit." John Vincic said HudBay's own investigation found that none of the company's employees were involved in the killing.

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Autor(a): Rights Action

On Wednesday, December 1, 2010...lawyers for the widow of a community leader who was shot and hacked to death in an unprovoked attack by private security forces employed at a Canadian mining project in Latin America [Guatemala] will announce a lawsuit brought in Ontario courts against a major Canadian mining company [Hudbay]. The murdered man was an outspoken critic of harms caused by Canadian mining activities in his community. To date, no one has been held accountable for his death...For more information see www.chocversushudbay.com, after 10:30 a.m., Dec. 1.

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